Allowed to be alone
Look, sometimes it’s nice to have nothing planned. It’s rough when you expect to literally do nothing and then someone wants to hang out with you. You know the feeling. The moment is awkward because they apparently have no interest right than in doing nothing, and you are looking forward to doing nothing. Quite the crossroads, right?
Don’t feel guilty, though. Planning to do nothing, relaxing alone, and not wanting to go out doesn’t make you a recluse or crazy person!
I don’t know why, but it seems like solitude is seen as a problem that needs to be solved. In all reality, people don’t always have to be together or rescued from being alone. I do my best work when I am by myself! People have a fear, or guilt, about wanting to be a private person. They don’t realize that being alone doesn’t mean you are constantly miserable, or in need of “saving”. In fact, it’s necessary for those of us who are introverts.
Solitude is a choice, while loneliness is a feeling of being disconnected from others. Introverts tend to crave solitude and need it to reset their mind, body and soul.
For introverts, it isn’t about being alone. It’s about needing the time and space to understand what is happening in our lives. Emotions can be overwhelming, and we need to allow ourselves a moment or two to process them. It is truly a form of self-care. For example, if I need to lay in bed and listen to music for three hours because I am having a bad day, I’m going to do it, because when I get up, I am going to feel better. It just so happened that I needed to do that to evaluate my feelings, and I needed to do it alone.
Solitude is essential for so many reasons:
- There is scientific evidence that alone time can help encourage empathy.
- Productivity is increased because you can focus on one thing without being drained.
- When your mind is allowed to wander, then creativity can happen.
- Being alone can help you build mental strength.
- Having solitude can help children overcome behavioral problems. Kids need time to play and let themselves relax in their imaginations.
- You have an opportunity to plan your life and evaluate where you are and where you want to be.
- You get to know yourself and learn how to be “ok” in your own skin.
Understanding what is going on in your mind is really important for your well-being, so please take a couple of hours a week to indulge in some sweet solitude or take that time to have fun on your own, even if you feel that it is not productive.